The Craft Cola

The Grandfather’s Wisdom





Many of the izakaya restaurants and pubs in Japan would provide their home-brew beer. The shop owners would use their unique ingredients and methods to brew craft beer with a distinctive taste. Who would have expected homemade, or craft cola is as well slowly becoming a trend?

When talking about the ingredients in cola making, I guess many people, including me, can only name a good amount of sugar and water. Then where does that irreplaceable aroma actually come from? Little did we know the main ingredient is a kind of fruit native to the tropical forests of Africa called cola, which can be used to cure asthma and other respiratory diseases. Therefore, when cola was first invented, it was seen as a medication. The cola manufacturers nowadays usually replace the natural fruit with artificial flavor. However, the Iyoshi Cola from Japan insists to use the original recipe from more than a hundred years ago for their craft cola.

The grandfather of Kobayashi, founder of Iyoshi Cola, was a professional in Chinese medicine. Back then, Kobayashi spent a great deal of time in the Chinese medicine factory run by his grandfather, helping out adjusting the prescription. There, he inherited the recipe of cola from his grandfather.

Using syrup made from a combination of cola fruit, cardamom, nutmeg, and more than ten other ingredients together as a base, lemon, soda water and herbs are added on top to acquire this unique blend of craft cola. Iyoshi Cola is currently still a pop-up concept without an actual store. Every weekend, Kobayashi would drive around in his little drink truck to different corners of Tokyo to greet customers. Follow the Instagram of Iyoshi Cola to keep it on your radar.